Rihanna doesn’t care what you think

I like celebrities. They are new age gods – in a Greek sense, where they are fallible not an Abrahamic sense where the moral lessons are starkly black or white – and the soap opera of their lives often reflects the good, the bad and the ugly of society as a whole. Snapshot moments to a celebrity become epic murals to the public, illustrating and educating and sometimes helping us evolve, other times indicating how far we have to go.

One such snapshot moment occurred the night before the Grammy Awards in 2009. Snapshot, literally, because by now everyone has seen Rihanna’s bruised and battered face from photographs leaked to the press by Los Angeles police. The incident elevated Rihanna from a voiceless star-rapidly-on-the-rise to a symbol and a role model to young women. She hasn’t stopped rebelling against it since.

Because Rihanna doesn’t care what you think.

Realising Rihanna doesn’t care what I, or you, or anyone thinks was a really liberating moment for me. I’m not entirely sure when it was exactly the lightbulb appeared over my head, but it was some time after I’d torn all my hair out about her rekindling her relationship with Chris Brown. Oh yes, just like everyone in the world with too many opinions and a twitter account, I lived to generate Hot Takes about Rihanna and what the situation represented around attitudes to domestic violence. I think there is still a lot to be learned from the way people liked to casually bring up Rihanna allegedly passing an STI to Chris Brown as though that excused him pulverising her head, or talking about how she was gobby and probably pushed him to it. It still horrifies me that teenage girls were so blasé and even reverent of Chris for his behaviour. The snapshot became a mural and I made Rihanna my bitch and I hung ALL of my shit on her. But the world turned, and Rihanna continued to live her life as she pleased and a little voice that sounded a lot like my own suddenly whispered:

“Rihanna doesn’t care what you think.”

I should have listened when she explicitly said, aloud, repeatedly in every interview that she was not interested in being a role model. How arrogant of me to pretend I had come to an intelligent conclusion about Rihanna when she had been screaming it in my face for months.


She doesn’t. She doesn’t care. There aren’t even words to articulate the force with which she doesn’t care. It’s in her posture. It’s in her clothes. It’s in her words. It’s in her music. It’s in every cell of her body. Straight up, RECOGNISE, heed me!

Rihanna doesn’t care what you think.

By all means talk about the ‘Bitch Better Have My Money’ video. You have as much right to express your lowkey-racism-disguised-as-concern as I have to wax lyrical about how much I love it’s campy, cartoonish menace. But understand, you will not change anything. You will not make Rihanna dance to the beat of your admonishing drum anymore than she will even deign to acknowledge the harmonious accompaniment of mine.

Rihanna doesn’t care what you think.

And your pussy is way too dry to be riding her dick like this.


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